For R&R, What Happens in ‘Playboy’…

LOS ANGELES Independent R&R Partners collaborated with Playboy on print ads that are at first glance indistinguishable from the magazine’s often ribald cartoons.

The effort supports R&R’s flagship client, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and it appears in the November issue of the magazine, which lands on newsstands this week.

Cartoons by Doug Sneyd, one of the magazine’s regular illustrators, depict a man and woman flirting on a couch. The man’s caption proclaims, “I read Playboy for the articles.” The woman retorts, “I go to Vegas for the shows,” an allusion to the agency’s well-known “Alibi” campaign, with further copy referring readers to the gambling mecca’s Web site.

A feature in that issue deals with the opening of the first new Playboy Club in many years (at the Palms in Las Vegas). The cover blurb for an interview with company founder Hugh Hefner reads, “What Happens in Vegas…” in order to evoke the long-standing tagline of the campaign, “What happens here, stays here.”

According to Randy Snow, executive vice president at Las Vegas-based R&R, “We thought about doing something inside the magazine, because contextually it makes sense, and [Sneyd] does a lot of the cartoons. But we knew it had to be within the editorial itself—and run against magazine copy, not other ads. Hugh Hefner had to approve it, of course, but the result exceeded our expectations.”

The cover reference to the campaign was serendipity. “I wish I could tell you that we arranged for the cover line, but I’m not even sure we knew they were running the Hefner interview this issue,” he said.

Steve Jaffe, R&R media supervisor, said the positioning within the “Interview” section meant that the ad “isn’t a unit that fits within any of the traditional Playboy modular sizes typically sold.”

Mark Naparstek (art direction) and Chris Hagan (copy) worked with creative director Arnie DiGeorge to fashion the effort.

Independent Crispin Porter + Bogusky recently bought the back cover of the September issue of Playboy for an ad touting Volkswagen’s Rabbit. That execution also played off the editorial content of the front cover and the magazine’s famous “Bunnies” [Adweek Online, Aug. 1].